Beta Blocker for performance anxiety

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Lucas12, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. Lucas12

    Lucas12 Filing Flight Plan

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    Would like to get my 3rd class again, been almost 15 years since I have flown want to get back into it. Looking at the medical form I have a couple "oh no" doubts. About a year ago my father died and there was a lot of stress around his last few months. He lived 3 thousand miles away and when I talked to my primary care doctor about it we decided that I could try a beta blocker to help me not get rattled in situations involving public speaking and dealing with his crazy abusive girlfriend. He prescribed propranolol and also said I might want to try lorazepam. I accidentally tried the lorazepam and it was horrible, really sedating, I threw it out. I did use the propranolol in a few settings and it really helped. I am worried that because these were for ANXIETY it is going to be a big deal especially because when I got my first medical back in the mid 90's I was honest and revealed that I had taken Prozac for two years prior to beginning flying lessons. I had to get my doctor at the time to state that I no longer had any depression and I could tell that she was a little uneasy since there were airplanes involved. (Funny how nobody bats an eye over tandem fuel tanker trucks.) That put my solo off for several months as I recall. Has anyone handled anything similar? Am I exaggerating the situation?

    Also for bonus points: after having had occasional exercise asthma for years I decided to get an inhaler and use it for running. I have had 2 or 3 of these over the years (albuterol) and have never used one up before expiration. Is this a problem?
     
  2. lbfjrmd

    lbfjrmd Line Up and Wait

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    FAA HIMS/AME/ATC flight doc
    1 you report the 1990 issue with depression and prozac as being /adjudicated/ by the FAA
    2 you report 'anxiety' and being Rx benzodiazepines and a B-blocker
    3 you report 'asthma' and use of an inhaler.

    All will be addressed by the FAA and you as in status reports from you doctors concerning asthma, report that Rx the benzodiazepine for your 'anxiety', and possibly re-addressing your '90 issue with depression, and other probable evaluations.
     
  3. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    it's a pretty good bet the agency is going to demand at lease a board certified psychiatrist to distinguish between recurrent disease and underlying mild chronic anxiety disorder in need of medication.
     
  4. Lucas12

    Lucas12 Filing Flight Plan

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    Well that sounds a bit disheartening. From my perspective it is all a little silly but It isn't like I can just lie about it. My first concern is that it might be a problem finding a psychiatrist eager to make this kind of evaluation given the usual aversion to liability. It seems like a lot of nonsense for 12 pills prescribed by a primary care doctor.

    I assume this will take a fair bit of time. If for some reason I cannot get a medical because of this issue, (which I think would be ridiculous but hey,) does denial mean that I can not self certify with regard to fitness to fly for sailplane? I know that it does for sport pilot?
     
  5. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    Believe what bbchien has to say. It may be best to consult off line with him. Not that he needs more business, I’m sure he’s pretty busy.
     
  6. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    Why risk the denial, get a consult and make your decision. Look at Light Sport, basic med is out of reach because your last medical is over 10yrs ago.

    It is a personal decision with you and your primary care provider as to self certify for gliders.
     
  7. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    The ten-year lookback is from when the legislation passed, July 2016. So the question is, did the OP have a valid medical on whichever day in late July 2006?
     
  8. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    It could be close, he said last flown 15 yrs ago. 2019-15=2004. If he had a 5yr class 3 still current in 2006, probable.
     
  9. Lucas12

    Lucas12 Filing Flight Plan

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    Well I talked to an AME and it seems like my best course of action is to clean up my medical record by making absolutely sure the prescriptions are voided and the "anxiety" "diagnosis" is considered resolved with no further treatment, let a few years go buy and if I want to apply have a letter from the treating physician explaining that the issue was resolved 2 years prior the prescribing of the unused benzodiazepines was not appropriate etc. The problem with applying now is that there is a high risk that the FAA will want to have a psychiatrist involved and there are only 2 in my region who the FAA uses and it is $1000 just to get in the door, if they want to start testing it adds up fast $5000 in no time, the worst part is if you don't resolve the issue you get a letter from the FBI demanding all your certificates so once you start you had better be braced to follow through.

    In the meantime I can fly sport pilot or take up sailplanes as in terms of self certification I am not taking a prohibited drug, and do not in fact have a condition that would interfere with my ability to fly. My exercise induced asthma is just that and is completely controlled by one puff of Albuterol if I happen to be carrying it on a run, otherwise I just wheeze.

    With regard to basic med, I will have to take a close look at dates as the 3rd class for 5 years for under 40 rule was implemented in 2008, July 24. For basic med you need a current medical as of July 14 2006. So an issuance on or after July 14 2003 is what is required.

    Unfortunately I don't know if it is even possible to rent an LSA. I would think that insurance might be a stumbling block in renting to anyone without an FAA medical. I wasn't really in the market for a Taylorcraft or a J3 I was planning on just renting 50 hours a year or so, maybe working on my instrument, that kind of thing. Sailplanes seem like the way to go although I have only taken a couple rides in one and I have to see if I am suited to that kind of flying.
     
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  10. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Cleared for Takeoff

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    When I let my third class SI medical lapse and decided to fly LSAs exercising the privileges of a sport pilot using a valid driver license in lieu of a medical certificate, I had no difficulty renting a Dova DV-1 SLSA from a local FBO after a two hour flight combining a flight review and transition training. I think today it's even easier to rent an LSA without a medical certificate.